High flying generals and politicos


I think General Natynczyk needs a new travel agent.

Ninety grand seems like a lot, even over the Christmas holidays.

I checked the Expedia.ca rates for this Christmas holiday and it’s offering a return airfare from Ottawa to St. Maartens for 795 buckaroonis.

It is true there are two stops on that flight.

Still.

As I predicted yesterday, the good General is saying that he’ll repay the commercial equivalent for the trip he took to join his family in St. Maartens last year.

He offered this only after speaking with the Prime Minister.

Here’s where I have the trouble.

He spent $93,000 of your folks money to take the Challenger and he’s willing to pay back $795.

The math doesn’t really work for me.

In his defence, Walt is saying that a) Defence Minister Peter McKay authorized the trip and b) the Challenger is flying around Canadian airspace anyway. So why, he reasoned, shouldn’t he hop a flight to sunnier climes if the Challenger needs to fly anyway?

Look here, Walt.

Just because it’s there, doesn’t mean you are entitled to use it on a whim.

You may be chief of the defence staff but you are still a public servant. You can’t expense that Cristal anymore; what makes you think you can suck on Fiji water and toss back beer nuts while flying to the Caribbean on our dime?

He’s not even grateful. He had to have his heavily striped arm twisted by the chief Husky. Even then, he said he’d pay it back only if we can prove he did anything wrong.

When Mr. Big, my former husband, was a consular officer in Mexico, he tried to expense a burro to bring back a body from the hills. Treasury Board rejected his claim saying a “burro is not considered an approved mode of transportation.”

What does Treasury Board say about private jets for soldiers?

It also seems lame that he pulled out the “well, I’ve been shot at in Baghdad and, I’ve been shot at in Sarajevo” defence.

Who does he think he is? Danny Kaye?

What does this have to do with anything?

There are a lot of grunts on the ground who’ve had their legs blown off and they didn’t get a five-star trip to a tropical isle.

Unbelievably, Stephen Maher of Postmedia is actually defending the guy.

He works hard. He missed two Christmases already. He’s a good egg.

Well, lots of Canadians work hard and don’t get to spend time with their families on Christmas. Like bus drivers and convenience store owners.

And flight attendants.

If the Challenger needs to be up and running, why not stuff it full of Miracle Network kids and take them down to Disney? Why not stop by my house and pick us up? I haven’t had a vacation in ten years and I wouldn’t mind a little fun in the sun at Christmas.

These are astronomical bills. Even the Prime Minister should be questioned on exactly how much he pays back if it costs $90,000 to fly to a hockey game. How much of that does he pay? Does he get the seat sale rate? I’d say Challenger flying is the equivalent of a first class ticket but I bet Harper doesn’t pay that.

I bet if the General — or Harper for that matter — had to pay the actual bill, they might change their travel plans. The General might opt for Mont Tremblant and Harper might decide to watch the Big Game on Rogers cable.

Fair is fair.

The General should take the bus like the rest of us.

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